Monthly Archives: October 2016

Automatic Borrowing with ODL

The Ohio Digital Library is one of the services the Stark County District Library uses to provide ebooks, eaudiobooks, streaming videos and magazines to our patrons. Sometimes items are not available immediately, and a hold has to be placed on the item. This is a simple enough process—when you find the item you want and click or tap on the cover, where it would say Borrow if the item was available, it says Place a Hold.
You are then taken to a page and asked to fill out your email twice, so as to avoid issues due to typos, and then you click Place a Hold and you’re done. Right?


The Ohio Digital Library added a nice feature that is turned on by default: Automatically borrow this title when it becomes available. This means that the second the item becomes available, it is checked out to you. You just need to download it. (Or begin enjoying the item right in your browser.) The default option used to be to receive an email when your item became available, at which point you had 72 hours to check out the item, or it would move to the next person. (You still get the email letting you know the item has been checked out to you.)


Now, if I want to hold off on checking out an item, because I know I’m likely to be busy and wouldn’t be able to start reading right away, sometimes I will uncheck the automatic borrow option in order to give myself three days to finish up what I’m currently reading. (Or at least get closer to the end.) Of course, sometimes when I’m busy, especially if I might be taking a long weekend and not checking my email, I may want the item to check out automatically to me, because I’m afraid I won’t see the email in time to check out my hold before it moves to the next person. It just depends.

The important thing to know is that holds will automatically check out to you if you do not uncheck the box for that option. Which may be a good thing or a bad thing. But it’s nice that the Ohio Digital Library gives you options.


Activity Trackers


Have you noticed those little colored bands everyone has been wearing around their wrists lately? These are activity trackers that sense the user’s movement and keep track of many different things. They can track things such as the number of steps you take, distance walked, calories burned, sleep quality, and heart rate. When I first heard about the activity trackers I was pretty skeptical, but now that I have one (a Fitbit Flex) I have to admit I love it. There are many different styles and brands of these activity trackers, so I think there is something that will work for everyone.

My favorite thing about my Fitbit is that is keeps me active and honest throughout the day. Experts recommend a goal of 10,000 steps per day. I can check my progress by simply tapping on my fitness band or by checking the app on my phone. This helps me realize when I have been sitting still for too long and gives me a goal to work towards. It also gives me a pretty accurate representation of how active I have been and takes out all the guesswork. Some of my friends and family members also have activity trackers, so it can be fun to challenge them and see who can get the most steps during a particular day or week. For me, a little friendly competition is always a good motivator.

I also love the sleep tracker on my Fitbit. It tells me what time I went to bed and woke up and how many times I was awake or restless throughout the night. I have a sleep goal of 8 hours per night, but it is totally customizable. With all of this information about my sleep cycle readily available to me I can compare how I feel to what my sleep cycle says and make adjustments that help me get more sleep and feel better during my day.

The app for the activity tracker also has sections to track weight, exercise, and food and water intake although I find that I don’t use these much. When it comes to different types of activity trackers, there are some really simple and affordable options available that just clip onto the clothing and track only your basic steps. Of course there are also more expensive and in-depth options that track heart rates, have GPS tracking, etc. When shopping for an activity tracker, think about your needs and goals and choose one that is right for you. Check out this buyer’s guide from Consumer Reports for more information on what to consider when choosing the best activity tracker for you:

I think that using an activity tracker is a great first step (haha) if you’re looking to be more active and work towards a healthier lifestyle.  Having realistic, measurable goals is important and an activity tracker is a great tool to hold you accountable to these goals. Just like anything else, activity trackers only work if you are committed to using them. Remember, every step counts!


Disabling Pop-Up Blockers (Chrome and Edge)

I ran into a heck of a problem the other day, and I have to admit I felt pretty awful not being able to solve it right away. In my personal life, I use Google’s Chrome internet browser every day, and yet, somehow, I’ve never had need to turn off the pop-up blocker. (This is what stops annoying pop-up ads from appearing on your screen when you’re on the internet. But sometimes the pop-up blocker prevents legitimate pop-up windows used by many sites from, well, popping up.)
Now, this should be easy enough to figure out, right? When someone asks me to do this, it should take me 30 seconds or less. After all, on Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s previous internet browser and the one I’ve disabled the pop-up blocker on most often, it is really simple. At the top of the window, there’s a menu marked Tools, and one of the options is pop-up blocker.
In Chrome and Microsoft’s new browser, Edge, it’s a lot trickier. When I had a minute to research how to turn off the pop-up blocker, let me say I felt a lot less awful for not finding it right away. How anyone could be expected to intuitively find the pop-up blocker in either of these browsers is beyond me. But these are the two browsers the public computers here at the Library are now using (and they are great browsers), so I had to figure it out. And to save you some frustration, here are the instructions.
Click the three dots (menu) in the top right of the browser. Then Click on Settings.
Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on Show advanced settings.
Scroll down to the Privacy heading and click on Content settings….

Scroll down the pop-up box (oh the irony!) to the Pop-ups heading and click the circle to the left of Allow all sites to show pop-ups. Finish by clicking Done.



Click the three dots (menu) in the top right of the browser. Then Click on Settings.


Scroll down and under Advanced settings, click on View advanced settings.


The toggle under Block pop-ups will be blue and white and say On. Click the blue, turning it black and white, now saying Off.